But, Atlas, despite a reputation in boxing as a guy who is about as tough as they come, continually reveals his softer side as he strives to support anyone and everyone who is in need, through his charitable foundation set up in honor of his late father, himself a legendary doctor in New York.
As one of most well-respected trainers in boxing, Staten Island, New York’s Teddy Atlas is well known throughout the industry, among peers and fans, as a no nonsense, master teacher who has guided numerous fighters to world championship status. His list of fighters that he has coached over the years, including 18 world champions, boasts Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Alexander Povetkin, Michael Moorer, Mike Tyson, Barry McGuigan, Timothy Bradley, and the list goes on and on.
Atlas has maintained great respect in the industry, and a rabid following among fight fans, who loved his outstanding boxing acumen, his first-hand experience working with some of boxing’s best and his unwavering (and frankly refreshing) honesty in his approach to everything. However, his profile truly exploded when he started to work as a ringside commentator for boxing mainstay ESPN, a job he held for almost 25-years. His accomplishments calling fights from ringside culminated in an induction into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2019. His success as a trainer, and expert ringside analysist, have also seen him ushered into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, the California Boxing Hall of Fame, The New York State Boxing Hall of Fame and the Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame.
Since leaving ESPN Atlas has seen little, if any, downtime as the long-married father, and grandfather, continues to stay very busy.
In a recent chat, MaxBoxing had a chance to catch up with Atlas from his home in New York at the end of yet another long day. It is busy business being Teddy Atlas on Staten Island where the requests for his time never stop. But, Atlas, despite a reputation in boxing as a guy who is about as tough as they come, continually reveals his softer side as he strives to support anyone and everyone who is in need, through his charitable foundation set up in honour of his late father, himself a legendary doctor in New York.
Bill Tibbs: Hi Teddy, how are you? Thanks for taking a minute to chat.
Teddy Atlas: Hey Bill, happy to do it. Yeah, I’m doing well, busy as always.
BT: We’ll jump around to a few topics; just wanted to catch up.
TA: Sure, sounds good.
BT: You’ve been away from training for a bit since, I guess it was, taking Oleksandr Gvozdyk to the world light heavyweight title. Are you going to get back into training fighters at some point?
TA: I haven’t closed the door if the right situation came along. I get requests, I just had some recently, names you would be very familiar with. But it must be the right situation, for several reasons, if I am going to commit to the fighter. I must know that I can help the fighter, that is the first thing. It is a big commitment to take on the responsibility of training a fighter and it must be the right situation in many areas for me to want to take on that commitment. Never say never, but it has to be the right fit.
BT: You are still very busy with your foundation as always. That is closing in on 25 years. Incredible.
TA: The foundation is always busy, with weekly, daily, requests to help people in need. It may have been started on Staten Island but now we get requests from different continents the world over. And, as the foundation has done since it started, if we can help, we will. From helping people who have medical needs, establishing educational scholarships or meeting the financial needs of the family with a sick child, and everything in between. People that fall through the cracks, maybe have nowhere else to go in many instances, they need emotional, medical, or financial support. That is where we step in and are there for them. Billy, some places in the world if organizations like ours don’t step in these people have literally nothing, people get very sick, people die, they have nowhere to turn. This is when we try to step in and do everything we can.
BT: You humbly shrug off any accolades in relation to the foundation, but your father would be so proud of your work.
TA: I’m just part of a team. There are so many great volunteers, and donors and organizations that support us. We just try our very best to help people who have nowhere else to go, like my father did.
BT: Let’s talk about your video series for Dynamic Striking. Those videos are very well done and have really taken off.
TA: As far as training goes, I am teaching, I am a good teacher, and I am doing that with my video series. They are doing great numbers; they have really taken off. I mean when I was approached about this, I didn’t know anything about how this would work, I didn’t know if it would work, if it would translate. But, they have exploded in a big way and are setting records for sales and streams. And, more importantly, people are telling me how much they are helping them and how they are really learning from them. I’m working with a great team at Dynamic striking; they are the best at this. The videos have done very well and have become top sellers.
BT: The series is great and that doesn’t always happen in digital form, sometimes it doesn’t translate, but these videos are really resonating with fighters and trainers.
TA: Yeah, they seem to really be doing very well so I am pleased about that. Another thing I should mention is a line of clothes that is coming out this fall - through Box Raw, it is called Atlas 36. It is named after the line I said that with everything that can be wrong in boxing, everything that might be wrong in life for a fighter, ‘in 36 minutes you can make life fair’. That is how they came up with the Atlas 36. It has some great stuff - shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, great apparel, and really good quality. I think people are going to really like it; it’s great stuff.
BT: Let’s talk about your podcast, “The Fight”, with Ken Rideout. You guys hit on all things combat sports and it really is a great show. There is a lot of competitors in the podcast world, but you guys have a great chemistry. You seem to be able to translate that same passion, enthusiasm and honesty that resonated with fans for a near quarter century on ESPN. Your audience on that show has really exploded.
TA: Ken is great, and we are really enjoying getting to touch on the fight world; boxing, MMA, lots of other topics and the show has really gained momentum as we have gone along, and we are now doing great. We have lots of sponsorships and advertisers and we have more coming all the time. The numbers we are doing are great - we are closing in on 32 million views and we are at 183,000 subscribers. We have a large following; it is going well.
BT: Wow, those are impressive numbers. I was going to say you’ve found our audience, but you have really found your audience, and in a big way - its huge.
TA: The podcast is going very well and we are really enjoying it. Always lots to talk about.
BT: How are the little ones doing? I know they keep you busy, but it’s the best kind of busy.
TA: My son (*son Teddy is currently the head of scouting for the new Las Vegas NFL franchise) is coming in this weekend from Vegas on what is a rare break for him. So, we’ll get to see our grandson, so we are always thrilled about that. And, yes, Nicole’s (*daughter Nicole is a successful New York based attorney) children keep my wife busy but she loves it. I am there a lot but not all the time and it is busy for her. When we connected tonight, I was just returning from throwing out the first pitch for a baseball game on Staten Island. And I surprised the team with a $3000 scholarship from the Atlas Foundation. But I was getting ready to leave after the pictures and autographs when I spotted a firetruck parked nearby. I asked some of the local firemen on scene if my young grandson, who had come with me, could get up into the truck for a picture, which the firemen gladly obliged.
BT: Oh man, he must have loved that.
TA: Yes, he did. I got him up in the truck, behind the wheel. They get the sirens on, the lights, everything, the fire fighters were all there, he was sitting up there, loving it. That is what it is all about Billy. We can talk about championships and belts and titles and podcasts and anything else, but at the end of the day that is what it is all about. Seeing my little buddy up there with a big smile on his face. It makes you think about what is important, truly important - my children, my grandchildren, my wife; for me that is what it’s all about. That is everything right there.
BT: Can’t end on a better story than that. Great catching up Teddy, all my best to the family.
TA: Thanks Bill, make sure you say hello to Cyndi and Lily.
BT: I sure will, thanks again, and we’ll catch up down the line.
TA: Anytime Billy.